Undeveloped Lives – Undeveloped Talent (1)

English: A corn field in Liechtenstein. Keywor...

English: A corn field in Liechtenstein. Keywords: Field, corn, Liechtenstein, Mountains, Alps, Vaduz, sky, clouds, landscape. Español: Una plantación de maíz en Liechtenstein. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone — Joh_12:24

Waste in Nature

In the summer, when the world is at its fairest, one thing that impresses us very strongly is what I might call the prodigality of nature. Every flower is busy fashioning its seeds; there are trees with thousands of seed pods on them; and we know that of all these millions of seeds being formed, not one in ten thousand will ever come to anything. Now, I am not going to speak of the problems suggested by that wastefulness. I wish rather to say a word or two upon the subject of undeveloped lives. In every corn of wheat that finds no congenial soil, there are undeveloped possibilities of harvest; and that suggests to me the question that often confronts us, is the question of undeveloped lives.

The Possibilities of Life Often Overwhelm Us

There are some seasons when we feel this more acutely. Allow me to recall some of these times to you. One is the hour when we are brought into contact with a strong and radiant personality. There is something very stimulating in such company, but often there is something strangely depressing too. Most of us have felt some sinking of the heart in the presence of exuberant vitality. I do not mean that we are repressed or chilled; it is not the great souls, it is the little souls, that chill us. But I mean that the possibilities of life so overwhelm us, in the splendid outflow of a radiant nature, that we feel immediately, perhaps to the point of heart-sinking, how undeveloped our own life must be.

Again, we feel it in these rarer moments that come to us all sometimes, we know not how—moments when life ceases to be a tangle, and flashes up into a glorious unity. In such hours it is a joy to be alive; thought is intense; things quiver with significance. There is a passing expansion of every power and faculty, touched by mysterious influences we cannot gauge. I think that for Jesus every hour was like that. For us, such hours are like angels’ visits. But when they come they bring such visions of the possible, that we feel bitterly how poor are our common days. If this is our measure we are not living to scale. If this is our waking, is not our life a sleep? It is in the rarer and loftier moments, then, that we apprehend the meaning of undeveloped life.

Early Death Brings Sorrow of Undeveloped Lives

But perhaps it is in the presence of early death that the thought reaches us with its full pressure. For the tragedy of early death is not its suffering; it is the blighted promise and the hope that is never crowned. I scarcely wonder that in well-nigh every cemetery you shall see a broken column as a monument. It is hardly Christian, but it is very human, and I do not think God will be hard on what is human. Wherever death is, you have mystery. But in the death of the young the mystery is doubled. And where there were high gifts of heart and intellect, the mystery is deepened a thousand fold. Why all this promise? Why this noble overture? Why, when the pattern is just beginning to show comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears and slits the thin-spun life? The great mystery of the early grave is the sorrow of undeveloped lives.

(to be continued..)

Can planning help me be a better steward of my finances?


Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

When finances are tight, it’s essential that we get the most out of our resources. As believers know, God never allows us to face more than we can handle (Romans 8:28) and also that He has a good plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). In fact, more than 90 passages in Scripture refer to planning. So let’s consider the following three blessings that come from good planning.

1). Planning helps you clarify what you’re doing. Good financial planning starts by answering the question, “How much _______?” Discover exactly how much is coming in (current income), how much is going out (current spending), how much you have saved (to spend or give in the future) and what is going on in the financial world (current conditions). Putting all these pieces together and you will have a plan that can lead you to a positive, productive future.
2). Planning helps you prioritize your expenses. Living on a fixed or reduced income makes planning a necessity. It gives you an objective way, in advance, to apply wisdom before spending. As Scripture teaches, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). Anything less than diligent planning sets you up for disappointment.
3). Planning brings conviction. You will always be more excited about and committed to keeping a plan that you developed. Staying involved in your planning also helps you evaluate the advice you may need on investments, financial strategy, tax laws, estate and planned giving options, and more. While it’s a good idea to enlist the help of godly, objective experts in these arenas, stay on guard to protect what you and the Lord have decided to do. This type of planning will empower you both now and in the future!

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